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Old June 13th, 2006, 02:50 PM   #1
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Location: West Texas
Age: 49
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Default How to re-grow a toenail after it's been ripped off (may be TMI)

I thought I would share my experience. I was at a water-park last year with my kiddos - one of those places where they have the huge plastic slide that you can ride down on a sheet of running water. Those things are way fun - but as I learned can be very dangerous too!

I was going down on my stomach, feet first, on a dare from my oldest DS. The big toenail on my right foot got caught on a seam and was instantly ripped off. Clean (but not at all pain-free!!!!). OMG that hurt.

Anyway - when the nail started growing back in - it came in crooked and started growing down, into my skin. I went to a podiatrist who removed that nail (again - very painful) and told me not to wear heels or any shoe that would squeeze my toes.

Again the nail started growing back in crooked and down. This hurts like hell, btw (please pardon my French! )

Another trip to another podiatrist and this one tells me that big toe nails never ever grow back in right and that he will just remove it again and cauterize the nailbed so that no nail ever grows again. Well, I didn't want this "remedy" because I really like to have my toenails painted (I wear flip flops mostly year round). So I told him no thanks and had him just remove the nail again. He was very upset with me but I had finally gotten a good idea.

I went straight to the local beauty shop and had a nail technician paint an acrylic "fake nail" on top of my skin on the big toe. She looked at my other foot as a guide to make it the same size and shape. I've had to go in about once a month to get a "fill" for looks.

Last month I had her take off the "fake nail" and underneath is my own very happy, very straight big toenail. I haven't had any problems with it growing in crooked or down, and even though the nail is not very strong, I know it will become that way as time goes on. The nail technician tells me that if I had just come to her in the first place - I would have never had any problems. I never dreamed this would work but was finally desperate.

It takes about one year for a full toenail (on the big toe) to grow back in btw.

Hope this helps someone in the future, although I never would wish anyone in the world to lose a big toenail in such a horrible fashion!!!!!!

And - always wear swimming socks when visiting water parks!!

Last edited by mugglemomof3 : June 13th, 2006 at 02:54 PM. Reason: I'm such a bad speller!
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Old June 13th, 2006, 03:10 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 38
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OMG that all sounded awful!!! Ouch ouch ouch!!!!
I have a toenail story too, but not nearly as painful sounding as yours.
When I was in highschool I went with a friend to Cedar Point and wore her too-tight-for-me shoes all day. When we got back my baby toenail was black, but didnt really hurt.
A couple of months later I was sitting on my bed kind of playing with my toes as I was reading a magazine and my pinky toenail suddenly without much resistance just lifted off! I almost got sick from the feeling of it.
Underneath my toenail was a very thin new toenail that I guess had been growing underneath the damaged one!
Obviously nothing like what happend to you, which sounds much MUCH worse! But I guess my toenail grew in the same way yours has been.
Well if i every lose a toenail entirely, I know what to do!

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Old June 13th, 2006, 03:26 PM   #3
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Oh my goodness! OUCH!!

I currently have a black nail on one of my big toes. I injured it playing tennis (and boy did it hurt)! I'm just waiting for it to fall off at this point.

Yikes! After reading all of this, I'm scared about how it's going to grow back in now. I'll keep y'all posted... and thanks for the tip!
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Old June 13th, 2006, 04:29 PM   #4
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AHHH. Oh my gossssshh. I keep cringing just thinking about that! OWWWW!

I feel pain for you in my thumb. I shut my thumb in the car door about a month ago and I have a big ol' crack horizontally on my nail. It's all shades of burgundy and black now, but it hasn't fallen off yet. It was so painful. My nerves are still in shock a bit and it's still sore. But thankfully I can finally bend my thumb! Funny though, when it happened I stared at it for a minute before taking it out, saw the blood and went, huh, that's interesting. Two minutes later I was in so much pain that I was shaking. So I feel for you!

Thank goodness it's starting to work out right for you. I'll remember this if I have any future problems when/if my nail falls off.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 04:41 PM   #5
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acrylics are great for guiding shape problems back into position. I am glad you found something that worked. And wow it sounds like you found a wonderful nail tech.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 06:35 PM   #6
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Location: Fremont,ca
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OMG!!!! I can't even begin to think how painfull that was, i'm so sorry you had to experience that!
It's very interesting that using an acrylic nail fixed the problem. very interesting. My mother has no nail on her big toe, and always puts a sticky fake nail there so she can wear sandals.
I'm glad this worked out for you.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 07:11 PM   #7
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Eeeew, makes me cringe just thinking about what happened to you. I get the willies if I bend a nail, I can't imagine what you went through. Glad it finally grew out!
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Old June 13th, 2006, 08:11 PM   #8
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Augh! What a painful experience!

My brother's big toenails (both) turned black too, from wearing too-tight shoes. They seem to be taking forever to drop out. It's been months already and it hurts whenever anything touches the nails. Is that normal? Would it be advisable to have it pulled out by a podiatrist instead of waiting for it to drop out?
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Old June 13th, 2006, 08:16 PM   #9
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I once had a big toenail either come off completely or get black and then come off. (I think it got black, because someone told me I should have made a hole in it to drain the blood.) What grew back was smooth but irregular-shaped (this is the subunguis, which grows from most of the nail bed) followed by the thick part (the unguis, which grows from the lunula). That was years ago; now the nail is tough, strong, and hennaed.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 09:13 PM   #10
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No advice, but, OOUUUUUCCHHHHH! your poor toe! I do hope all goes well with it.
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